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2nd July Current Affairs

What the G7 meet accomplished

(GS-II: Bilateral, regional and global grouping)

In News:

According to its 12,000-word communiqué, the G7 has issued four other statements as well — on democracy (together with the guest countries), Ukraine, global food security, and the creation of a climate club.

Details:

Taken together, this summit outcome looks weighty, even impressive.

The G7 invited “guests”, top leaders from five countries — Argentina, India, Indonesia, Senegal, and South Africa — in a studied nod to the global south.

Its adversaries and competitors Russia and China were not present.

G7 Leaders’ Communiqué: Key Highlights:

Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine: The statement condemned Russia’s illegal and unjustifiable war of aggression against Ukraine.

It resolved to stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes, providing the needed financial, humanitarian, military, and diplomatic support in its courageous defence of its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Severe and enduring costs on Russia: G7 members will continue to impose severe and enduring costs on Russia to help bring an end to this war.

In this regard, the official communique endorsed the ambitious and untried concept that seeks price caps on Russian oil.

Leaders also agreed on a ban on imports of Russian gold.

Ensuring food security around the globe: The participating leaders pledged to spend $4. 5 billion this year to help ensure food security around the globe.

To protect people from hunger and malnutrition, and in response to Russia’s weaponization of grain, G7 leaders decided to increase global food and nutrition security through the Global Alliance on Food Security.

On China’s ‘market-distorting’ practices: G7 leaders condemned China’s non-transparent and market-distorting international trade practices.

The G7 leaders signalled that they would seek to extricate themselves from economic dependence on China.

Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment

Through its Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment, G7 countries aim to mobilize USD 600 billion over the next five years to narrow the global investment gap.

Global cooperation: G7 members decided to step up their cooperation globally, including through working towards new Just Energy Transition Partnerships with Indonesia, India, Senegal and Vietnam, building on the existing partnership with South Africa.

COVID-19: To overcome the current COVID-19 pandemic, G7 will build on its provision of over 1.175 billion vaccine doses since the last meeting in 2021.

G7 countries also decided to prevent, prepare, and respond to future pandemics and health challenges including through the G7 Pact for Pandemic Readiness.

India at G7 Summit:

Although India is not a member of G7, it was called as a guest to attend the summit.

At the G-7 summit in Germany, PM Modi participated in two sessions on:

Investing in a Better Future: Climate, Energy, Health and Food security

Resilient Democracies document signed:

Through this statement, the participating countries expressed their commitment to guard the freedom, independence and diversity of civil society actors and protect the freedom of expression and opinion online and offline.

Financial Services Institutions Bureau (FSIB)

(GS-III: Indian Economy)

In News:

The government has transformed Banks Board Bureau (BBB) into Financial Services Institutions Bureau (FSIB) by making some amendments.

Aim:

It will make recommendations for appointments of full-time directors as well as the non-executive chairman of banks and financial institutions.

Issues guidelines to select general managers and directors of public sector general insurance companies.

Amendment required:

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has asked the Department of Financial Services to carry out necessary modifications in the Nationalized Banks (Management and Miscellaneous Provisions) Scheme of 1970/1980 with the approval of the Finance Minister, and then notify the government resolution for establishing FSIB as a single entity

Why the need for revamping:-

Delhi HC order: Delhi high court last year observed that the bureau was not a competent body to recommend appointments at PSU general insurers, and held that circulars enabling BBB to select general managers and directors of PSU insurers were not legally valid. Thus, the need for an overhaul.

Slow recruitment process: Despite the BBB’s good work, recruitment to a higher level has been slow. Also, BBB’s extended two-year term ended, and new recruitments can restart only when a new body is in place.

About BBB:

It was set up in February 2016 as an autonomous body– based on the recommendations of the RBI-appointed Nayak Committee.

It was part of the Indradhanush Plan.

It will make recommendations for the appointment of whole-time directors as well as non-executive chairpersons of Public Sector Banks (PSBs) and state-owned financial institutions.

The Ministry of Finance takes the final decision on the appointments in consultation with the Prime Minister’s Office.

Composition:

Banks Board Bureau comprises the Chairman, three ex-officio members i.e Secretary, Department of Public Enterprises, Secretary of the Department of Financial Services and Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, and five expert members, two of which are from the private sector.

Forest (Conservation) Rules, 2022 Notified

(GS-III: Environment Conservation)

In News:

MoEFCC has notified Forest (conservation) Rules 2022, under the Forest (conservation) Act, 1980.

New Rules says:

On monitoring: Constitute an advisory committee, a regional empowered committee and a screening committee at the State/UT

Integrated Regional Office: It will examine all the linear projects (e.g. roads, highways, etc) involving land up to 40 hectares and the use of forest land up to 0.7 canopy density

Time frame: A fixed time for quicker review of each project

Responsibility to states: States are given the responsibility of settling forest rights of forest dwellers (Forest Rights Act, 2006) and allowing diversion of forest land.

Allows compensatory afforestation (CA) in other states: If the state already has over two-thirds area under green cover or over one-third area under forest cover, then CA could be taken in other states/UTs where the cover is less than 20%

Previously, the government has started to rank state environment impact assessment authorities (SEIAAs) based on the speed at which they cleared proposals and provided environmental clearance for projects.

MoEF proposes amendments in Environment Protection Act 1986:

Decriminalize provisions: The ministry has proposed the removal of imprisonment as a penalty for the “less severe’’ contraventions and replace it with monetary penalty.

However, serious violations of EPA which lead to grievous injury or loss of life shall be covered under the provision of Indian Penal Code.

EPA provisions will be in force for penal provisions of the single use plastic ban which has come into force from today.

Current Provisions: Under the current provisions of the EPA, the violator can be punished with imprisonment up to five years or with a fine up to Rs 1,00,000, or with both.

Creation of an “Environmental Protection Fund’’: To remit the amount of penalty

About EPA: Enacted under Article 253 of the Constitution, the EPA came into force in 1986. The Act establishes “the framework for studying, planning, and implementing long-term requirements of environmental safety and laying down a system of speedy and adequate response to situations threatening the environment.”

Three main entities responsible for environmental Laws in India:

Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change

Central Pollution Control Board at the National level

State Pollution Control Boards at the State level

The main environmental laws in India are:

Environmental (Protection) Act 1986

Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1974

Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981

Rules made under the above acts

India’s nuclear policy reflects its past ideology: NHRC chief

(GS-II: Nuclear doctrine of India, various statutory, regulatory and quasi-judicial bodies)

In News:

National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) chairperson said India’s policy on nuclear weapons was a manifestation of its past ideology.

Details:

He said Indian civilisational ethos was “blessed with the power of assimilation of different streams of ideas and faiths, as we want to improve and not impose our culture upon others, which may amount to a violation of human rights.

India’s doctrine of nuclear policy is a manifestation of its past ideology that prohibits the use of weapons of mass destruction, which only harm humanity.

It has been reflected both in the Ramayana and the Mahabharata when the use of weapons of mass destruction was prohibited.

Nuclear Doctrine of India:

In 2003, India officially accepted a Nuclear Doctrine based on the No First Use(NFU) policy.

Nuclear weapons will only be kept as a credible minimum deterrence against nuclear attacks.

NFU policy would be followed and India would use nuclear attack only as retaliation against a nuclear attack on India or on Indian forces anywhere.

India would not launch a nuclear weapon attack against any non-nuclear state.

However, in the event of a major attack on India or on Indian forces anywhere by chemical or biological weapon, India will have the option of retaliating with nuclear weapons.

The retaliatory 2nd strike to a first nuclear attack would be massive and would inflict unacceptable damage on the opponent